Lionel Messi experienced a disappointing end to his first MLS season on Saturday as Inter Miami, his team, were defeated 1-0 by Charlotte FC at Bank of America Stadium.
Unfortunately, this loss ultimately resulted in Miami being excluded from the playoffs, while Charlotte secured their inaugural playoff spot.
Messi participated in the entire game, playing the full 90 minutes, but despite his efforts, his team was unable to avoid defeat. Although he had a few opportunities to score, his goal in the second half was disallowed due to offside.
Charlotte took the lead in the 13th minute with a tremendous goal from Kerwin Vargas, the Colombian midfielder. Vargas skillfully curled a shot from outside the box into the top corner, securing the only goal of the game.
Messi had 11 goals in 14 matches with Miami this season. The team was winless in his final six league matches (three losses, three draws) and had four wins, four losses and four draws in the league since he joined the team in mid-July.
Messi, who scored twice for Argentina in their 2-0 World Cup qualifying win at Peru on Tuesday night and did not play the next day in a makeup game against Charlotte, did not address the media after the game. He had one media availability in a half-season with team, on 17 August.
Charlotte delivered for their fans. The second-year franchise needed a victory over Miami and help from other results to claim one of the two remaining Eastern Conference playoff spots in a scramble of five teams.
The Chicago Fire and CF Montreal lost earlier Saturday and that allowed Charlotte to clinch a playoff berth with a victory.
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